Anime at a Glance: Flying Witch

After a relaxing train ride, Makoto Kowata heads to catch a bus to get her to relative’s home with her cat Chito. She gets off the bus and finds snow, a rare sight coming from Yokohama. As she makes a hand print and admires the snow, she’s greeted by her relative Kei Kuramoto. It’s been 6 years since she was there last, and he had to come and get her as she is horrible with directions. Once they get home she is introduced to Chinatsu Kuramoto, Kei’s younger sister, and is told she wouldn’t remember her after such a long time. Also that Makoto is her mother, to play a bit of a joke on both of them, before explaining that she’s just here to stay with them for awhile.

With all of Makoto’s stuff having already arrived, she goes to start unpacking in her room and Chinatsu is asked to bring her a mattress and discovers Makoto having a conversation with her cat, Chito. She runs down and asks about whether she’s dangerous, and Makoto comes down to the pleasant smell of Kei making a curry dinner. Chinatsu is still very wary of her and is trying to keep her eyes on Makoto, and since she’s so bad with directions Kei suggests that Chinatsu helps her over to the general store to pick up a few things. After blackmailing Makoto for some donuts, they head on their way and start shopping around. As they’re leaving, Makoto finds a rack outside with different types of bamboo brooms and she stops to pick one up. She tries to flex the shaft for durability to see if it’ll break and then casually puts it between her legs and pushes off the ground with one foot and floats up off the ground in front of Chinatsu.

Kei is stopping by doing an errand visiting with his friend from school, Nao Ishiwatari and explaining that he’d like her help with Makoto at school. “She’s odd and mysterious” Chinatsu begins to call out to Kei with Makoto and Kei looks up to see them arriving by broom. Nao spots them and becomes a bit struck with surprise. Kei has a conversation with her about being lost again while Nao is recovering from seeing them fly in on a broom.

The next day at school Makoto finds out that Nao is a classmate of theirs, and Nao asks about witches and if there are a lot. During a brief explanation she mentions that the region has quite a few witches and she is coming to finish high school with relatives. Kei heads off after school to spend some time with friends, and asks Nao if she could escort Makoto home on his behalf. Makoto thanks her for the help and smells something interesting while passing by a field and decides to walk in and get her prize. When Nao notices her wandering off, she yells asking what she’s doing and gets the reply, “I found something nice, and I want to give you a present for your help!” After a few moments, Makoto finds a root and asks Nao to cover her ears. She pulls the root up and it starts shrieking inhumanly as it’s ripped from the ground. She presents Nao with her find, a Mandrake root. Makoto explains it can be used to make a strong remedy for many ailments and can be used in a nice bitter tea, but Nao can only see it’s roots writhing around Makoto’s arms and moaning a constant monotone sound.

“No, I don’t want it.”

Shows like Flying Witch may go under the radar during the seasons of anime when it has to go up against other shows like My Hero Academia or Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Many people, like myself, have other jobs or obligations and can’t sit down to watch as many shows, so you occasionally might miss out on simple pleasures like Flying Witch. While the plot isn’t extravagant and Makoto probably won’t be saving the world from the dark lord and his waves of unyielding minions, the show lends itself a familiar feel of what it would be like to look into the life of a witch in real life. While witches are generally viewed in a negative light, Flying Witch lends to the concept that witches aren’t actually evil people and are just regular people like you and me. Though Makoto is a bit prone to getting lost with short trips down the street, or being incapable of keeping her identity as a witch a secret, it helps make her relatable character. No one is perfect, but she brings a touch of magic to a regular life, and even shares some of that magic with the relatives she’s staying with. While they hadn’t been exposed to witches or magic in the past, they also don’t seem to troubled or surprised by most of the events that unfold while she’s developing her skills as a witch. It does seem like most of the spells employed by Makoto and the other witches are barely more than pranks in some episodes, so I suppose it wouldn’t be all that surprising for them anyway.

It’s a pretty slow moving show, so if you don’t enjoy gentle humour or simple episodic stories, then maybe it’s not going to be your favorite show of all time, but I do still recommend checking it out as it’s a simple and fun show that is safe for anyone to watch. Especially when anime studios these days often find a need to supplement story and quality with fan service, shows like this are a welcome reprieve from the rest of the shows this season.

You can watch Flying Witch on Crunchyroll each week.

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